God and Horrendous Suffering
Edited by John W. Loftus
RELIGION / Atheism
RELIGION / Philosophy
RELIGION / Essays
The chapters in this book combine to show that it is exceedingly improbable to the point of refutation for the god of Orthodox Theism to exist. The main problem is an evidential one regarding horrendous suffering. A perfectly good god would be opposed to it, an all-powerful god would be capable of eliminating it, and an all-knowing god would know what to do about it. The existence of horrendous suffering in the world leads us to think that god is either not powerful enough to eliminate it, or does not care enough to eliminate it, or is just not smart enough to know what to do about it.
The book also addresses issues relating to the lack of objective evidence for miracles, the absurdity of theistic myths, the relationship of horrendous suffering to differing theologies and religious faiths, the horrendous nature of the biblical god, the horrendous actions done because of religious faith, and how these considerations can lead reasonable people away from religion.
The authors discuss these issues philosophically, theologically, apologetically, biblically, religiously, historically, and personally. It’s an excellent model for how philosophers, apologists, and theologians should’ve been discussing this problem decades ago.
John W. Loftus earned an MA, MDiv, and ThM degree in the philosophy of religion. He also studied in a PhD program at Marquette University. He is the author of Why I Became an Atheist, The Outsider Test for Faith, How to Defend the Christian Faith, Unapologetic, and the co-author of God or Godless (with Randal Rauser). He’s also the editor of The Christian Delusion, The End of Christianity, Christianity is Not Great, Christianity in the Light of Science, and The Case against Miracles. He is the founder of the blog, Debunking Christianity (www.debunking-christianity.com).
"This volume contains many excellent, accessible essays on the problem of evil. If you want to get a sense of the scale of the problem, then this volume is a great place to start. John Loftus is exceptionally well qualified to produce such a book. Having followed his work for years—including his valuable Debunking Christianity blog—I know him to be not only a highly knowledgeable and careful thinker, but also someone who can bring philosophical issues and arguments to life."
‒From the Foreword by Dr. Stephen Law,
Editor of the Royal Institute of Philosophy Journal, THINK
Author of Believing Bullshit
"The most pressing challenge to belief in God today is undoubtedly the problem of pain. One only needs to read the provocative array of essays in this volume of leading atheists and other non-theists to see why this is such an ongoing problem for those of us who believe that God is real. Whatever one’s beliefs or worldview, and whether one agrees or disagrees, I commend all seekers of truth to read and reflect on this significant work that John Loftus has so skillfully edited."
‒Dr. Chad Meister,
Professor of Philosophy at Bethel University
Co-Editor of The Cambridge Companion to the Problem of Evil
"Loftus has again produced a brilliant gallery of informed experts, now addressing the problem of evil from every angle, and with such power and depth that it shall be required reading for anyone promoting or opposing evil as a disproof of God."
‒Dr. Richard Carrier,
Author of Jesus from Outer Space
and Sense and Goodness without God
"I’m not sure there is anyone out there right now who articulates atheistic augments as well as John Loftus does, and this book on horrendous suffering is no exception. In it Loftus has done a great job in marshaling a stellar group of scholars in offering one of the best attempts at criticizing the Christian faith in a more comprehensive way with regard to the problem of evil. Believers who hold to a theistic perspective should seriously—and more deeply—study the alternative perspectives and questions that this anthology poses for theism. They should especially be more mindful of these kinds of criticisms when speaking with people who do not believe like we do that the Christian God is so good."
‒Dr. David Geisler,
President of Norm Geisler International Ministries
Co-Author of Conversational Evangelism
"As a Christian apologist, I can say that there is no intellectual objection to Christianity more daunting than the problem of horrendous suffering. In this important new book, John Loftus has gathered a diverse collection of voices that seek to build a comprehensive, multi-pronged critique of Christianity based on this most difficult problem. No Christian apologist can afford to ignore it."
‒Dr. Randal Rauser,
Professor of Historical Theology at Taylor Seminary
Co-Author of God or Godless?